Have you ever come across someone who sees the world differently from you? To the point that the only way they are interested in talking is if you just agree with their position? Any disagreement or difference of opinion immediately puts the person into attack mode.
How do you deal with someone like that? How do you talk with someone who sees life through the lens of war – fighting and winning at all costs on any subject?
First, I’m going to assume you have a different mindset – that disagreement isn’t a war, but an opportunity to learn and grow.
Second, recognize that what’s going on is that you and the other person are on different planets, with different cultures, and that speak different languages. It’s really helpful to think of conflict situations in this way. If you visited another country that speaks a different language, would you get into an argument with a person there? I don’t think so. I think you’d recognize that you are a visitor and don’t know the customs, the nuance of the language, or the history. Dealing with someone who has a conflict mentality in this way can be very helpful.
This situation isn’t like a normal conversation. Anything you say, can and will be used against you. So you have to take a different approach.
You can’t control what the other person says or does. But you can control what you do. And the best way to deal with such a person is with dignity, even if the other person is extremely disrespectful or worse. We act with dignity by being who we truly are, who God calls us to be. That doesn’t mean we start to yell back. But rather, we speak softly and with compassion. We show love. And we look out for our safety and the safety of the other person. And sometimes that means figuring out the fastest path away from the situation.
As much as we don’t want to admit it, there are just those people out there who are a real pain in the ass. They are never going to agree with you. They are never going to see what you or the organization or ideals that you represent with any positive light. Ever. Get out of arguing with the person – that focuses on the head. And you are never going to change their mind. Instead, talk to the heart, if you have to engage at all. The heart is where change occurs.